On occasion, I have been invited by author-friends to contribute content to their books. I am pleased to do so, especially when the topic of the book is aligned with one of my interest areas. Here is a listing of some of those books:
I wrote a chapter entitled Le Métier d’Astronaute (The Astronaut Profession) in this book Vivre En Apesanteur (Living in Weightlessness).
I participated in an amazing educational project a few years ago. The project was a children’s e-book that was written, illustrated and musically composed by students from Lord Beaverbrook High School in Calgary. The book is called From Blue to Red www.FromBlueToRed.net / Du Bleu Au Rouge http://dubleuaurouge.net It tells the fictional story of a human space mission to Mars and is targeted for readers ages 4-12 years.
The Beaverbrook students worked in teams around themes of literature, language, science, music, communication technology and graphic arts. It was a great cross-curricular educational experience. Diana Krall and I did the narration of the English e-book, while Julie Payette and David Saint-Jacques did the narration for the French book. The book also exists in hard cover and audio book formats. The school produced a documentary about the making of From Blue To Red http://frombluetored.net/documentary.html
From small disappointments to heartbreaking tragedies, unwanted change blindsides us and leaves us wondering what to do next. It might be new neighbours constantly blasting loud music late at night; it might be a technological breakthrough that leaves your business in its dust; it might be a heart attack that nearly kills you. Whatever form it takes, unwanted change requires us to adapt to a harsher environment. Like the spiders sent into space by NASA that found ways to spin their webs without the aid of gravity, we have to find ways to overcome the pitfalls that life places in our path. Drawing on inspiring stories of individuals, organizations and businesses, Spiders in Space presents a menu of adaptive traits that can help us not only survive, but thrive, when unwanted change comes our way.
I wrote the Forward for the book and blogged about it when it was published: http://robertthirsk.ca/2017/05/01/adaption-to-change-in-space-and-on-earth/
What does it mean to fail? To some of the most successful Canadians, it was a rite of passage, a stepping stone to greater things, or even a brilliant source of inspiration. Olympic golds, successful businesses, pioneering medical advances — all came about after a series of missteps and countless attempts.
Canadian Failures gathers ten experts from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors and academia, all of whom have grappled with failures and success throughout their lives. Their powerful argument: that Canada, and Canadians, must be willing to learn from failure if we hope to succeed.
I contributed a chapter entitled Preparation for Failure and blogged about it when it was published: http://robertthirsk.ca/2017/12/22/failure-a-critical-element-on-the-path-to-success/
The Farthest Shore is a comprehensive new guide to space systems and exploration as we reach anew into space in the 21st century. Inside this enlarged and revised edition, everyone from a questing student to a sci-fi fan, can find out about all aspects of space, from how we use space to deal with global warming to the latest in space tourism. World experts assembled from around the world, from astronauts and astrophysicists to space zoologists, will tell us about the different ways we can use space to survive on Earth, explore the unknown cosmos, or create totally new industries. This book, largely written in narrative form, contains a series of interesting stories about how we use space in dozens of ways that continue to expand wider and wider every year.
I contributed a story entitled Soyuz Re-entry to the book and blogged about my contribution: http://robertthirsk.ca/2018/08/14/returning-home-in-soyuz-a-wild-wild-ride/
The International Space Station represents what can happen when people from different backgrounds and different cultures come together with parallel dreams and aspirations. This truly astonishing feat of human ingenuity would not exist without the contributions and insights of people from almost every walk of life going all the way back to Isaac Newton.
Outpost in Orbit is an anniversary tribute book that takes the reader through a pictorial history of the space station which is unprecedented in its scope. It takes the reader through over 100 space stations designed by American, Russians, German and Brits before taking you aboard the magnificent ISS using hundreds of pictures, many never published before. Interviews were conducted with retirees and pioneers as well as the principals from NASA, the Russian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency to create a unique insight into the trials and triumphs of working on the ISS.
I contributed a couple of quotes to the book about my ISS experiences.
Published by Hexagon/NovAtel Inc., 2023
NovAtel is a Calgary-based company that develops positioning systems for applications in survey, agricultural, aviation, automotive, marine and mining industries. It is a division within Hexagon, a Swedish company that is a global leader in autonomous systems.
NovAtel recently updated its popular book ‘An Introduction to GNSS’. The book is a primer on the basics of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) technologies. It is well-written – informing rather than overwhelming the reader – and provides a nice foundation for further study.
I was pleased to write the Foreword for this third edition. As an astronaut, I depended on positioning technologies to execute my missions. For example, the space shuttle used intelligent positioning systems to steer its engine gimbals during ascent so that we arrived in space at our targeted position and velocity.
‘An Introduction to GNSS’ is available as a free e-book download. If desired, hard copies can be ordered through Amazon.